Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract is the best. And the cheapest! With what we’d spend to buy a few ounces of vanilla extract at the store, we made two large jars full. (Over a year later and we and others are still have barely made a dent!)

Vanilla beans for extract

  • One ounce of vanilla beans, sliced¬†open (we bought ours here)
  • One L of vodka or bourbon (any cheap brand will do)
  • Two quart-size mason jars


Vanilla and Vodka

Add the alcohol to the jars and the vanilla to the alcohol. Shake on occasion. Don’t take the beans out. Do your best to keep your cocktail-lovin’ husband out of it for at least 6 weeks or until it smells scumptious.

Vanilla Extract after 2 days

Enjoy more vanilla extract than you will ever use in a lifetime. Bottle some up, with a bean thrown in for pizazz and give it away as a gift. Use it in your homemade toothpaste recipe. Or enjoy a nekkid game of Vanilla Shots and Ladders. ;)
(P.S. Once the jar is half-full, you can add more vodka and start shaking again.)
Finished Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yum. If only dinner could be so simple. Or intoxicating.


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17 Comments. Leave new

This is AWESOME!

I was just wondering the other day how easy it would be to make this at home. Awesome. Thank you so much for this

Kung Pow HausFrau
May 13, 2009 2:14 pm

Oh, thank you! I will have to try this, after I use up my supply of vanilla we bought from Mexico. How much do the beans usually cost?

May 13, 2009 7:09 pm

Roxie, our beans cost about $6-7 and gave us enough to make all this. You may want to start it now so it can steep while you finish up your extract. That’s what we did so we didn’t have a gap between.

SO easy! Thanks for sharing. I’m very particular about my vanilla extract – only good stuff will do. This will save me anxiety every time my (get it brought over from UK) bottle nears its end.

Great! Do you think it’s better with vodka or bourbon? Or doesn’t it make much difference?

Delicious! This is a great idea.

May 14, 2009 6:46 am

Annette, I made mine with vodka but I kind wish I had done both. I think the bourbon is a bit thicker and could add to the flavor. If I ever run out of this one, I’m going to make it with bourbon next time.

I love home made vanilla! For something yummy, try making it with spiced rum :D

May 15, 2009 8:39 am

Linda, I was *just* thinking of that this morning! Does it affect the vanilla flavor at all? It sounds like it would be great but might change the taste of something you’re baking.

I haven’t noticed it affecting the taste – I don’t do a ton of baking but I do put it into my home made yogurt. The vanilla still smells and tastes like vanilla :)

I think I might make mine without the bean hic up…. teeheehee

love this, putting this on my list of have to dos.

Just started a small batch with bourbon. I’m so excited and anxious to taste it already! Thanks for posting this idea.

Do you use the same amount of homemade vanilla in baking as store bought vanilla. Do you use more, less or the same?

the inadvertent farmer
October 4, 2009 12:07 pm

OK…this is so going on my list of things to give for Christmas! Thanks, Kim

Donna | The Healthy Eating Site
October 18, 2009 10:48 pm

Wow, this is so awesome! Thanks for posting this. I have been longing for beautiful, organic vanilla extract and wishing I knew how to make my own. Sounds like it ends up being much cheaper than buying the good stuff too! Wow, can’t wait to make my own!

Your site is my new favorite blog to read!

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